b'DEATH AND A CROCODILE 47clamped her lips tight and willed her stomach to relax. A woman who was old enough to marry must not be upset by the sight of blood. Roxana hovered at her side. My lady, are you ill? Would you like to lie down?No. Im fine. My stomach is just a touch unsettled. Due to the shock.Dryas held out his hand. May I take the sheet, my lady?She hadnt realized she was still holding it. She handed it to him. He folded it and draped it over Fathers face and chest, cov-ering the worst of the blood. Perhaps you would like me to bring clean clothing for the funeral?Yes. Father should be dressed in his finest for the funeral. Fetch his best toga. And his good sandals.Theoldmandippedhishead.Verywell,mylady.Shall Roxana stay with you?No. I need a few moments alone.The slaves left her. She knelt beside the body. Fathers arms had been crossed on his chest. Cold. Lifeless. Stained with blood.Goodbye, Father. She touched his hand. Felt something hard. Fathers signet ring. She worked the ring from his stiff finger, rinsed the dried blood and ran her finger across the burnished metal etched with his seal. Curio would want it, surely? As she replaced the arm, she dislodged a bronze coin from the folds of his belt. An old sestertius bearing an image of a croco-dile chained to a palm tree. The obverse featured two faces, one of which was Emperor Augustus. If Livia remembered her his-tory correctly (a hazy bet) the other man was Agrippa, a military leader who had helped Augustus defeat Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra. (In Egypt, thus the crocodile, a common symbol of that strange country.) What was an old coin doing on her fathers body? Had thieves stole his coin pouch, and the coin slipped out? Or maybe someone'